Arrests Unabated against National Council of Damascus Declaration
The Syrian regime is still maintaining its sweeps of arrests and intimidation against members of the National Council of Damascus Declaration. Syrian state security forces arrested Rashed Satouf, a member of the Damascus Declaration on Jan, 2nd, 2008, from the city of El Raka and held him in the capital Damascus and released him Jan, 5th, 2008 and arrested on Jan, 3rd Fayez Sara, a writer and journalist and member in the national council.
The crackdown is on the increase, presaging mass arrests. The state security apparatus demanded members of the National Council of Damascus Declaration (220 members) surrender to the state security branches in governorates without issuing any arrest warrant or subpoenas.
Also detained on Jan, 8th, 2008, Mohamed Haggi Darwish and Talal Abu Dan and their location is still unidentified. An intelligence patrol raided the house of engineer Ghassan Naggar, to arrest him again although he was released two weeks ago for his deteriorating health condition. When they didn”t find him, they threatened with arresting all members of his family. Also subpoenaed was Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Khair, the vice-chairman of the national council and the place of his arrest is yet to be known.
There are other members who were arrested after Dec, 9th, 2009 and are still under detention, including Dr. Fidaa Al Hourani, Dr. Ahmed Tima, writer Akram Al-Bunni, writer Ali Al-Abdullah, Gabr Al Shoufi, Dr. Walid Al Bunni, Dr. Yasser Al Aiti and writer Fayez Sara.
This security crackdown may lead to a record increase the number of detainees who may face interrogations, maltreatment and are sent to very narrow and dark cells following politically motivated and unfair trials whose sentences are prepared in advance. Their charge is calling for a freedom of speech, a peaceful democratic change in Syria and the Syrians right to have a real participation in shaping the future of their country through ending the dictatorial rule according to which Syria has been run throughout the past 45 years.
The Syrian Commission for Human Rights condemned in a statement this unfair crackdown against members of the National Council of Damascus Declaration and lashed out at this ongoing arbitrary detention. It demanded the Syrian authorities, topped by president Bashar Al-Asad, to stop this unfair sweeps of arrests and immediately release the detainees.
The commission also urged all sections of the Syrian society to move to call for releasing the detainees and stopping the arrests. The commission sent its statement to the UN Secretary-General and international human rights organizations calling them to back the National Council of Damascus Declaration and Syrian people during this ordeal